SANIBEL, Fla. — On August 12 the Sanibel City Manager, Dana Souza, released a letter to the public disputing the allegations made by the Cape Coral Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge 33 on Facebook about Sanibel disbanding their police department.
According to Souza, on August 9 the Cape Coral FOP posted that the Mayor of Sanibel, Holly Smith was attempting to have closed meetings without the Chief of Police present to discuss the future of the police department. The post added that the Sanibel City Council is not supportive of the police department.
Cape Coral FOP stated that Mayor Smith considered replacing the Sanibel Police Department (SPD) with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO), Souza said.
According to Souza, on August 11 the City of Sanibel posted a response on Facebook to Cape Coral FOP’s post disputing all of their accusations in the post as false. The original post by Cape Coral FOP and the City of Sanibel’s response were both taken down.
The City of Sanibel spoke with Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno about the accusations from Cape Coral FOP’s Facebook page and he confirmed that his office has not had any conversations with Sanibel elected officials or staff about providing police services to Sanibel, Souza said.
“The accusations presented in the Cape Coral FOP Facebook page are false, unfortunate, and divisive. It does not represent the positive community culture generally found in Sanibel. We are a community founded on principles of positive communication, tolerance, and civil discourse. I hope this letter can put these false accusations to rest, so we can all focus on our work to ensure Sanibel remains a beautiful, safe, and respectful place to live and work,” Souza said.